remanding cases to the state courts. Commonwealth Film Processing, Inc. v. Moss & Rocovich, P.C., 778 F. Supp. 283 (W.D.Va. 1991); Holly Farms Corp. v. Taylor, 722 F. Supp. 1152 (D.Del. 1989).
Moreover, 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) requires a district court to remand a case to state court when it determines that that case was removed without jurisdiction.
Generally, a complaint may not be removed from state court to federal court unless it could have been filed originally in federal court. Charter Medical Corp. v. Friese, 732 F. Supp. 1160, 1162 (N.D.Ga. 1989) citing Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392, 107 S. Ct. 2425, 2429, 96 L. Ed. 2d 318 (1987). Whether a case is one arising under the Constitution or a law or treaty of the United States, in the sense of the jurisdictional statute... must be determined from what necessarily appears in the plaintiff's statement of his own claim in the bill or declaration, unaided by anything alleged in anticipation of avoidance of defenses which it is thought the defendant may interpose. In other words, the federal question upon which jurisdiction is premised must be presented on the face of the plaintiffs' properly pleaded complaint. Albert Einstein Medical Center v. National Benefit Fund for Hospital & Health Care Employees, 740 F. Supp. 343, 348 (E.D.Pa. 1989). See Also: Franchise Tax Board v. Construction Laborers Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 103 S. Ct. 2841, 77 L. Ed. 2d 420 (1983) and Taylor v. Anderson, 234 U.S. 74, 75-76, 34 S. Ct. 724, 724-25, 58 L. Ed. 1218 (1914).
Although as a general matter, pre-emption is a defense which can not be considered in determining whether the complaint contains any federal question claims which support federal court jurisdiction, the courts have created a limited exception to this rule when the plaintiff's "artful pleading" is the sole reason for the omission of the federal issue from the complaint. Thus, a plaintiff may not defeat removal by failing to plead necessary federal questions in a complaint. Shiffler v. Equitable Life Assurance Society of U.S., 609 F. Supp. 832, 835 (E.D.Pa. 1985) citing, inter alia, Franchise Tax Board, supra, 103 S. Ct. at 2853 .
Likewise, under the complete pre-emption doctrine, Congress may so completely pre-empt a particular area that any civil complaint raising this select group of claims is necessarily federal in character. This doctrine has been said to arise only when two circumstances are present: when the enforcement provisions of a federal statute create a federal cause of action vindicating the same interest that the plaintiff's cause of action seeks to vindicate and when there is affirmative evidence of a congressional intent to permit removal despite the plaintiff's exclusive reliance on state law. Allstate Insurance Company v. 65 Security Plan, 879 F.2d 90, 93 (3rd Cir. 1989) citing Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. v. Taylor, 481 U.S. 58, 107 S. Ct. 1542, 1546, 95 L. Ed. 2d 55 (1987) and Railway Labor Executives Association v. Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Co., 858 F.2d 936, 943-943 (3rd Cir. 1988). Once an area of state law has been completely pre-empted, any claim purportedly based on that pre-empted state law is considered from its inception a federal claim and removal is appropriate in such a case because Congress has manifested a clear intent to make such causes of action removable. Albert Einstein Medical Center, supra, 740 F. Supp. at 348 citing Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, also supra, 107 S. Ct. at 2430; Charter Medical Corp. v. Friese, supra, at 1163.
Applying the foregoing principles to the statute at issue in the case at bar, it should preliminarily be noted that ERISA has been defined as "a comprehensive statute designed to promote the interests of employees and their beneficiaries in employee benefit plans." Section 514(a) of the statute, 29 U.S.C.§ 1144(a), in turn, effectively pre-empts "any and all State laws" (with the exception of state laws regulating insurance, banking, securities, worker's and unemployment/disability compensation and criminal offenses) "insofar as they may now or hereafter relate to any employee benefit plan" covered by ERISA. Shaw v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 463 U.S. 85, 90, 91, 103 S. Ct. 2890, 2896, 77 L. Ed. 2d 490 (1983). A law "relates to" an employee benefit plan, in the normal sense of the phrase, if it has a connection with or reference to such a plan. 103 S. Ct. at 2900. Under this broad, common-sense meaning, a state law may "relate to" a benefit plan, and thereby be pre-empted, even if the law is not specifically designed to affect such plans, or the effect is only indirect. The pre-emption clause is not limited to state laws specifically dealing with the subject matters covered by ERISA--reporting, disclosure, fiduciary responsibility, and the like nor is pre-emption precluded simply because a state law is consistent with ERISA's substantive requirements. Ingersoll-Rand Co., v. McClendon, 498 U.S. 133, 111 S. Ct. 478, 483, 112 L. Ed. 2d 474 (1990), citing Pilot Life Insurance Co. v. Dedeaux, 481 U.S. 41, 47, 107 S. Ct. 1549, 1552-53, 95 L. Ed. 2d 39 (1987) and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. v. Massachusetts, 471 U.S. 724, 739, 105 S. Ct. 2380, 2388-89, 85 L. Ed. 2d 728 (1985); Weir v. Northwestern National Life Insurance Co., 796 F. Supp. 846, 847 (E.D.Pa. 1992). Indeed, the only relevant state laws that are not pre-empted are those that are specifically exempted from the scope of ERISA. Id., citing Alessi v. Raybestos-Manhattan, Inc., 451 U.S. 504, 101 S. Ct. 1895, 68 L. Ed. 2d 402 (1981).
Instantly, according to paragraphs 3, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13 of its complaint, the plaintiff claims to be entitled to the payment in full of the medical services and benefits which it rendered to Mr. Black under the terms and provisions of the Health and Welfare Plan of the Nation's Railroads and the Railway Labor Organizations issued by the defendant Travelers.
The Act, in turn, at 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B) provides that "a civil action may be brought--by a [plan] participant or beneficiary to recover benefits due to him under the terms of his plan, to enforce his rights under the terms of the plan, or to clarify his rights to future benefits under the terms of the plan..." Given the clarity of this language, we can reach no other conclusion but that the plaintiff's cause of action in this case arose under the federal law created by ERISA and that ERISA therefore pre-empts any and all other state or common law claims which may have arisen from this case. Accordingly, the plaintiff's motion to remand this action to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas is denied and, to the extent that there any common law state claims have been stated in the plaintiff's complaint, those claims are hereby dismissed.
An appropriate order is therefore attached.
AND NOW, this 29th day of June, 1993, upon consideration of Plaintiff's Motion to Remand this Case to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County and the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Any State Law Claims Presented in Plaintiff's Complaint for Failure to State a Claim, it is hereby ORDERED that the Plaintiff's Motion to Remand is DENIED and that the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Any State Law Claims Presented in the Complaint is GRANTED for the reasons set forth in the preceding Memorandum Opinion.
BY THE COURT:
J. CURTIS JOYNER, J.